Bug Girl (a true story) by Sophia Spencer, Margaret McNamara

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Real-life 7-year-old Sophia Spencer was bullied for loving bugs until hundreds of women scientists rallied around her. Now Sophie tells her inspiring story in this picture book that celebrates women in science, bugs of all kinds, and the importance of staying true to yourself.


Sophia Spencer has loved bugs ever since a butterfly landed on her shoulder--and wouldn't leave!--at a butterfly conservancy when she was only two-and-a-half years old. In preschool and kindergarten, Sophia was thrilled to share what she knew about grasshoppers (her very favorite insects), as well as ants and fireflies... but by first grade, not everyone shared her enthusiasm. Some students bullied her, and Sophia stopped talking about bugs altogether. When Sophia's mother wrote to an entomological society looking for a bug scientist to be a pen pal for her daughter, she and Sophie were overwhelmed by the enthusiastic response--letters, photos, and videos came flooding in. Using the hashtag BugsR4Girls, scientists tweeted hundreds of times to tell Sophia to keep up her interest in bugs--and it worked! Sophia has since appeared on Good Morning America, The Today Show, and NPR, and she continues to share her love of bugs with others.

“McNamara’s skillful text centers Spencer’s voice, while Kerascoët’s loose ink, colored pencil, and watercolor illustrations render winning details with emotional sensitivity.” —Publishers Weekly, starred review

“Coauthored by fourthgrader Spencer, this memoir captures both the personal exhilaration of sharing a passion and the crushing disappointment when others misunderstand or belittle that devotion.” —Booklist

“Inspirational 
for young naturalists.” —Kirkus Reviews

“Whether preaching to a bug-loving choir, promoting respect for others’ passions, or investigating a path toward middle-grade fame, this title will satisfy many audiences.” —The Bulletin

“This book has a great message for children to stick with what they love, regardless of what others may think.” —Resource Links

"This book affected me so strongly — the first in 2020 to end up clutched to my chest." Sudbury Star